Disruptive digital economy measures dominate Ireland’s Action Plan for 100,000 new jobs

22 Feb 2013

As part of a plan to generate 100,000 new jobs by 2016, Ireland will lead Europe in terms of ICT graduates as a percentage of all third-level graduates by 2018 and 2,000 extra ICT professionals will be fielded this year, according to a bold new Action Plan for Jobs that includes ‘disruptive measures’ that will see 2,000 more businesses trading online and Ireland become a major hub for big data.

The Irish Government today revealed its plan for addressing the shortfall of 250,000 jobs that were lost in the three years after the country’s economy collapsed in 2008 due to lax banking regulation and an economy driven by a hollow property boom.

The plan contains 333 actions that will be implemented in 2013 by 16 Government departments and 46 agencies.

Under the plan, the IDA will target 130 new investments that will generate 13,000 new jobs.

Enterprise Ireland will support more than 1,000 companies on management development programmes, support 155 high-potential and early stage start-ups, and assist 300 companies in breaking into overseas markets.

Maximising local sourcing by multinationals could result in €500m worth of new contracts for indigenous companies with a knock-on impact on job creation and retention.

Some €2bn worth of lending will be released to businesses and pillar banks will be obliged to increase lending to €4bn. The powers of the Credit Review Office will also be strengthened.

Science Foundation Ireland will invest more than €150m in five new major scale R&D operations, with industry contributions of 30pc.

Sectors like cloud computing, aviation, manufacturing and agri-food will continue to be supported.

‘Disruptive reform’ measures

The plan for 2013 differs from the 2012 plan because it contains several headline ‘disruptive reform’ measures aimed at spiking job creation.

JobsPlus – over two years, the State will pay €1 of every €4 it costs an employer to recruit a long-term unemployed person off the Live Register.

ICT Skills – provide an additional 2,000 ICT graduate-level professionals in 2013, and by 2018 lead Europe in terms of ICT graduates as a percentage of all third-level graduates.

Energy Efficiency – the Government will create a €70m energy efficiency fund to support 20 major projects in 2013 and ultimately create 5,000 jobs.

Trading Online – get 2,000 more small businesses trading online in 2013 and 2014, with the creation of 3,200 jobs.

Business Licences – create a single licensing application system for up to 25 licences in the retail sector, saving retailers more than €20m per annum.

Big Data – make Ireland one of the leading countries in Europe for big data, a sector growing by up to 40pc per annum.

Health Innovation Hub – Government will establish a world-renowned centre to establish Ireland as a leading location for start-up and growing med-tech and healthcare companies.

Getting Ireland working again

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, said the Action Plan for Jobs 2013 will increase the number of new jobs created in Ireland by 100,000 by 2016.

“The previous Government built an economy based on debt and property that collapsed like a house of cards. We are rebuilding our economy brick by brick, making it stronger, ensuring that successes gained are here for the long term.

“The Action Plan for Jobs will continue to focus on our traditional enterprise sectors along with new growth industries. It will target small Irish businesses and new start-ups, as well as the biggest multinational companies.  

“This year’s plan will contain a number of landmark, step-change projects that will act as exemplars to enterprise as we rebuild an enterprise-focused economy.  

“We have a plan. We are implementing it. And we will see it through until we get Ireland working again,” Kenny said.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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